Beaded Arches Shawlette

OK, so I am very excited to be able to reveal Shawl 2 from the Shawl Club collaboration with Unbelieva-wool.  This is the Beaded Arches Shawlette, so named because of its beading and arches (I lack imagination).

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The yarn is a pretty special merino / nylon / yak base, dyed in reds and plums in a colourway called ‘Loving You’.

So, the story behind this one is that shortly after we agreed to do Shawl Club, Sam said that she really liked the idea of a long, thin crescent shaped shawl. So did I, but boy, that is a hard shape to nail without making the pattern so involved that your head explodes from tracking where to place the increases.  One of my rules of pattern design is that ideally it should be something that is mainly simple and meditative to do once the pattern is set, with the occasional bit of complexity.  So I tried to find a way of coming up with the shape, without the headache.

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This was what I managed to come up with.  It is a complete cheat, as the shape is achieved through cunning use of blocking.

I also wanted to incorporate beading because, as you know, I like a touch of beadwork in a shawl and it suited this particular shawl well.  In trying to get the shape right, I made loads of these shawls, and I have to say I have fallen in love with them as I wear them as scarves, like this:

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But here are some early contenders I am also very fond of…

These are using a vibrant grad from Dye Candy, and the one below is using a silk mix yarn (also from Dye Candy) entitled ‘Scream Queen’, without the beads.

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I have more but I will spare you here, although you may see them crop up on Instagram from time to time.  So there you have it: a cheeky cheat.  Forgive me, but it does work!

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Wrapping things up…

So this week I have been a bit quieter than normal.  I have been busy with my daughter’s birthday, racing to get some work done before a deadline for the day job, and manically hooking every other moment so I can finish a lace weight wrap which I have been writing the pattern for.  The birthday, the work and the wrap are all done now, and the wrap is blocking as I type this.  The picture shows my blocking essentials – my hairdresser’s squirty bottle and an old tobacco tin of blocking pins. I have over 150 blocking pins – the few you can still see in the tin gives you an idea of how many are pinning that wrap out at the moment!

I have a strange affection for tobacco tins.  My dad’s shed contained shelves filled with neatly stacked tins like this one, with Dymo labels on their short edge indicating what was contained in each one.  This one came to me via a neighbour, whose relative had recently passed, but had left behind a serious button stash.  This was one of the tins that the buttons came in.  Nostalgia meant that I had to keep it and fill it, not with screws, nails or panel pins, but with blocking pins.  I think my dad would approve.  In fact I think my dad would try to have the tin off of me…

Anyway, I think having used over 100 pins on my latest make, and sworn whilst I fiddled with them to get straight edges, I need to invest in some blocking wires!  But I am relieved to have the wrap made.  Another pattern done ready for April launch. Lace weight patterns are a marathon rather than a sprint, but always worth enduring for.